Darby's Bible Synopsis
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
After that (for what form will not rebellion assume?) Miriam and Aaron speak against Moses. It is the prophetess and the priest (one who has the word from God and access to God, the twofold character of the people of God), who rise up against him who is king in Jeshurun, with whom God speaks as unto His friend. In this Moses is in all respects a type of Christ, who stands personally outside the rights which grace has conferred upon the people. Faithful in all the house of God, he enjoys close intercourse with Him. Miriam and Aaron ought to have been afraid. The excuse of the two rebels was, that Moses had taken an Ethiopian woman-a blessed sign for us of the sovereignty of grace which has introduced into the blessing of Christ those who had no right or title to it. The people of God, whatever their privileges, ought to have recognised this sovereignty. Israel would not, and was smitten with leprosy. It is, however, in their character of witness or prophet that they suffer this chastening.
Aaron resumes his place of intercessor, and speaks humbly to Moses (a figure, I think, of the humiliation of Israel, grounded on the value of the intercession of Christ, identifying Himself with the position of the people). God's answer is, that Miriam should be humbled and chastened, shut out, for a time, from intercourse with Him, then restored to favour again. The people wait for her restoration. Let us remember that the Lord here recalls this fact, that the most glorious position for Moses was that when he was separated from the people-when he pitched his tent without the camp, and called it the tabernacle of the congregation or meeting. The people had but too much forgotten this. When the members of the church also, in the thought of making themselves spiritual, take advantage of their glory and position as prophets and priests (characters which do indeed belong to them), to disown the rights of Christ, as king in Jeshurun, having authority over the house of God, there is room for considering whether they are not guilty of the rebellion here spoken of. For my part, I believe they are.
And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb.
And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.